The first sections of the iconic roof at the new Everton Stadium have come through rigorous wind and rain testing ahead of installation.
As standard in the industry, the testing is devised to replicate the relative position of spectators to determine the level of protection from the natural elements of wind and rain.
A novel feature of the steel and aluminium roof are the engineered perforated holes, which provide vital wind mitigation on the exposed site, adjacent to the River Mersey.
And following intense tests at the Vinci Technology Centre in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, where a section of the roof was subjected to wind speeds far in excess of what can be expected, senior staff from construction partner Laing O’Rourke have been delighted with the results.
Project Director, Gareth Jacques, explained: “A key feature of the outside skin of the barrel cladding system is that it is perforated which helps to dissipate the wind and provide shelter for the spectators."
“In the test we conducted, I was standing at an equivalent distance to the top row of seating behind a mock-up section of the cladding.
“The wind machine was then gradually increased to full capacity - and protection from the cladding was very effective and worked really well."
In the tests, carefully calibrated lines were also laid out on the floor to replicate the closest seating positions, which led to more positive feedback in regard to wind and water penetration.
The perforated steel cladding is a key feature of Everton’s new home, which promises to be the most sustainable stadium in the Premier League.
Three installed tiers will result in rainwater draining into specially installed channels and into the two subterranean harvesting tanks located in the north-east corner of the stadium.
From there, the water collected can be utilised for flushing the 914 WCs on site and also for watering and maintaining the playing surface.
Many elements of the stadium’s future sustainability impacts are noted in the 2022 Sport Positive Leagues Sustainability Matrix, which sees Everton placed 12th of the 20 Premier League clubs in the annual report. This covers all of the Club’s sustainability features across all existing sites, including the ageing Goodison Park as well as Finch Farm and the main offices at the Royal Liver Building.
The sustainability impacts of the new stadium don’t count towards the Club’s overall score in the matrix but will in the future once the stadium is completed in the 2024/25 season.
Roof panel, wind tunnel and Gareth
Meanwhile, the roofing structure continues to evolve at Everton Stadium in readiness for the cladding.
The barrel support sections now stretch along the extent of the west stand and support the upper-level terracing of the bowl, providing lateral restraint and spreading the permanent load into the main structure. Connections will soon support a series of cantilevering trusses, each up to 60m long.
These ribs, assembled pitch side at ground level, will then support the steel canopy that extends and spans over the top of the seating.
That process will be repeated in the east stand, where the initial barrel sections will start soon.
Next week, a temporary staircase will be installed to the roof in north stand to allow roofers to commence permanent roof coverings.
This work will see a standing seam roof system installed on top of the steelwork, which sees narrow sheets rolled off a coil in three long sections and connected together, providing further weather protection to the stands.
Below that will be a layer of insulation, predominantly for acoustics.
That process will then be repeated in the south stand.